ACT Newsletter - Adapting to Climate change in Time

Patras: a step towards adaptation

As shown by the data and climate projections gathered in ACT for the preparation of the Local Adaptation Plan of the city of Patras, the climate of Patras is expected to have an increase in mean air temperature and a decrease in annual aggregate precipitation. This will have a negative impact on the environmental and economic sectors of the city, unless an adaptation strategy and the corresponding sectoral programs are implemented in the coming years.

Although an Adaptation Strategy needs to encompass all the sectors that are influenced by climate change, a set of priorities needs to be defined, especially in view of the current European economic crisis and the limited resources. In this direction it was very helpful the contribution of the Patras Local Adaptation Board that was set-up under the decision of the City Council. The Board was formed by a variety of experts from different actors of the city that provided for a holistic view and identified the three priority areas: Biodiversity and Forests, Coastal erosion and Water.

For the priority sectors an in-depth analysis was performed aiming to define in as detail as possible the current state, the threats and the concrete measures that need to be taken. Some of the measures identified and proposed are already included in the Operational Programme of the Municipality of Patras with a set budget and time-schedule. For the rest of the sectors a more qualitative analysis was performed leading more to the approach that needs to be followed in the coming years. Important element in all sectors is the collection of data that will allow decisions to be taken in the most accurate possible informational background.

The results and experiences from the creation of the Local Adaptation Plan were disseminated during the events for the World Environment Day 2013 that took place on 1st June 2013. ADEP S.A. had an information stand in the busiest pedestrian street of Patras “Riga Ferraiou”. The stand was visited by hundreds of people from a big variety of social and professional background. They showed big interest on the fact that the Adaptation Plan contains concrete sector-specific measures. This creates the responsibility for the implementation of the measures and the provision of proof of results.

New scientific knowledge becomes available every day regarding both climate change and the state of the various sectors. It is therefore vital that, apart from the provision for the implementation of the measures of the Local Adaptation Plan, a regular review of the Local Adaptation Plan is performed. The review first of all will need to address the effectiveness of the measures implemented but it is also necessary in order to further develop the Adaptation Plan according to the evolution of knowledge and the assessment of European economic and social status.

In any case the work done by the Municipality of Patras in the ACT Project is just the first step towards Adaptation to Climate Change. A lot of work remains to be done in order to offer to the citizens a safer environment.

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With the contribution of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Community